“It’s the transformation of marketing into a function that creates valuable experiences and content that is the new muscle for most organizations…”
Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose, Killing Marketing, p. 133
“Content marketing” is no longer a new idea. Yet there’s still a great deal of confusion of what “content” is or is not.
Here’s the way I think about it: Just as business involves an exchange of something of value (a product or service) for your money, “content marketing” offers information/entertainment of value in exchange for your attention.
That’s precisely why content marketing is (largely) a contemporary phenomenon. When consumers are no longer confined to three broadcasting networks and one or two local papers, and they can use the Web to find just about anything they want, they control what they see or hear.
You want attention? You have to earn it. Content is what earns it.
That means that a lot of stuff that marketers pass off as content, such as marketing collateral or advertising “assets,” really isn’t.
What’s the difference? Traditional marketing stuff – like brochures, data sheets, and demos – describe value, value that you can obtain when you make a purchase.
Genuine content delivers value in itself. Think of that guide to seasonal planting…the benefits planning calculator…the ebook on assessing security risks. They hold your interest because they provide something you want, right here and now. No purchase necessary. All that’s required is….your attention.
(If you’re wondering why you would give away something of value for free, please read Killing Marketing and the stack of previous books Joe and Robert have written. Plus my blog.)
Apply the acid test to your content inventory. Does your stuff describe or deliver value? If it doesn’t honestly deliver, it’s not real content and it will not attract nor hold the attention you want. It may be time to transform.